The Veerashaiva versus Lingayat feud has created a bigger rift between the two sects as several members of the Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha have rejected the suggestion to endorse the resolutions seeking a separate religion tag for Lingayats, the Deccan Chronicle reported.
On Thursday, the section demanding a separate minority religion status met at Bengaluru and chalked out a resolution. The pontiffs at the meet said that they would convince the other stakeholders of their cause.
One of the resolutions passed was to rename the Mahasabha as Akhila Bharat Lingayat Mahasabha, which the ABVM members now have a problem with.
An office bearer of ABVM said that the Mahasabha’s President, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, had called a meeting of a few office bearers and it was decided that a statement would be issued by ABVM, which would agree with the stand taken by the leaders at the meeting.
“Most of the office bearers opposed this idea and we have asked him not to react to this development. We are Veerashaiva-Lingayats. There is no difference like some others claim. We have told the President that we do not want any association with the new group which claims to be followers of Basavanna. Shivashankarappa is yet to make a decision,” the office bearer said.
According to the DC report, pontiffs of the pancha peetha, who have maintained that Lingayats are Hindus, secretly met on Friday.
However, Shamanoor Shivashankarappa said that a meeting would be held on August 17 where the issue would be discussed with our leaders.
With one section of the Lingayat community set on getting a separate religion tag, a split of the Veerashaiva-Lingayat community seems imminent, the DC report says.
“In the past, when a separate religion status was demanded for Veerashaiva-Lingayats, the proposals were rejected. It is because Veerashaivas follow customs of Hindus. If the word Veerashaiva is removed, then maybe we have a chance of getting the separate religion status,” an office bearer with the Lingayat Mahasabha said.